Big Pharma hasn’t exactly dived head first into the App Store, but GlaxoSmithKline is sponsoring a clinical trials app with MedTrust Online, called CancerTrials App. The app allows oncologists to find and share information on cancer clinical trials that could be relevant to their patients.
An app that allows patients to look up cancer clinical trials isn’t new. We even featured one in our top 10 free medical apps post a few months ago, called Drug Trials. The app is still free, allows you to filter results by using the native GPS on your phone, and provides a host of other features.
One of the main differences with this CancerTrials App is the usage of MedTrust Online’s proprietary databases of oncology information at www.oncocentric.com. Whereas The Drug Trails app uses data from clinicaltrials.gov. (read more)
Socket Mobile just announced Bluetooth syncing support for their medical grade bar code scanner and the iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad. Barcodes are essential in the health care setting – they enable nurses to tag medications upon delivery – helping to avoid dosing errors, help hospital systems keep an accurate count of supply inventories, and provide a host of other uses. If used properly, the potential uses of this pairing are significant.
For the pairing to work on the iPhone and iPod Touch, iOS 4.0, formerly known as iPhone OS 4, is required. iOS 4.0 will be released on June 21st, right before the launch of the iPhone 4. Continue on to see a video and pictures of the bar code scanner in action. The fact the video uses the old X-Man cartoon theme song for its intro is absolutely hilarious and in itself worth the view. (read more)
Otsuka Pharma, the pharmaceutical company responsible for the blockbuster drug Abilify, is in the process of purchasing 1,300 iPads for its sales reps in Japan for marketing purposes. The iPads will be used to give presentations to physicians and for the sales force to study company material.
According to the Businessweek article, the company is also considering implementing this strategy in other countries. They plan on spending up to $2.5 million on the iPads, including service fees. It’s only a matter of time before the big pharma companies in the US follow suit by buying iPads in bulk. It’s the perfect tool if you’re a sales rep, especially if you have 3G connectivity – allowing you to get updated news and data to your iPad while you’re in the field. (read more)
Repetition, repetition, repetition. Most of the information I retained from the first few years of medical school is what I learned by repetition. Unless I use some bit of knowledge regularly, I tend to forget it. Reading an EKG is one of those skills in medicine that requires a lot of background knowledge, the ability to recognize patterns, and the clinical experience to know what looks “okay” and what looks “definitely not okay.” While no app or textbook can replace the practical skills that one acquires through months or years of interpreting real EKGs and seeing patients, it helps to have a quick reference of ground rules and basic pattern descriptions to refresh one’s mind on the basic reading rules of EKGs.
Medical students and residents have been carrying around pocket-sized EKG manuals for decades. But over the past several months a few ECG/EKG apps have cropped up on the Android Market, hoping to fill the need for an electronic alternative.
Here I take a look at three EKG interpretation and learning tools for Android mobile devices: EKGdroid, EKG:Advanced, and EKG Calipers. Can Android really replace those pocket manuals and teach the next generation of doctors to read EKGs?
As most of you know, the iPhone 4 was just announced by Steve Jobs today. The iPhone 4G brings significant upgrades from the 3GS – video conferencing, multi-tasking, HD video recording, and more. The overall look of the phone is different as well, it’s being proclaimed as the “thinnest smart phone ever” by Steve Jobs.
In the mountain of new features announced today, there are two that should stand out for the medical community. Retinal Display and PDF viewing. As more details emerge, this post will get updated accordingly.
Apple now has the sharpest and highest resolution smart phone – they are calling it “Retinal Display”. While the screen size is still 3.5 inches (diagonal), the pixel resolution is now 960 by 640, 326 pixels per inch. For comparison sake, the 3GS had a resolution of 480 by 320, 163 pixels per inch. Obviously, the iPhone 4′s display is a tremendous leap forward.
How this effects the medical community:
We reported a few months ago, before the release of the iPad, on rumors that the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles had been given the “next Apple Tablet” to experiment with in the hospital. At the time even the Washington Post was speculating on these rumors.
An article in USA Today detailing the multipurpose uses of the iPad is shedding some new light on the Cedars-Sinai and Apple relationship. The hospital is currently experimenting with the iPad’s ability to enhance the physician patient relationship – and twelve iPads are currently being used in the wards to make rounds with physicians.
With all the talk of the adoption towards electronic medical records (EMR) and questions about software choices – people tend to forget the hardware needed to run such records. Dell is trying their best to create as many partnerships as possible with EMR vendors and physicians hoping to adopt EMRs. Apple has also tried to foster these relationships, but compared to Dell its efforts have been significantly weaker.
Just recently Dell teamed up with Practice Fusion, an EMR vendor for small practices famous for marketing themselves as the fastest growing free electronic health record company – and are offering deep discounts through this partnership.
The partnership with Practice Fusion is by no means the first relationship with an EMR vendor for Dell. They have over 20 partnerships with electronic health vendors, ranging from Allscripts to Athena Health. Dell even has a dedicated number and email address for those who are interested in buying hardware for electronic health records: 1-866-Dell-EMR and [email protected]
So exactly how deep are these discounts? (read more)
By: Jessica Otte, MD
STATworkUP, now in its fourth version, is an App designed to help clinicians with the diagnostic thought process and to provide them with evidence-based facts about symptoms and disorders. If you are not a health care professional who does diagnostics, this probably won’t be your thing (and it will be over your head). Self-proclaimed ‘Medical Decision Support computing,’ this software approaches clinical decision-making in a way that mirrors actual practice.
The layout is straightforward but I would not say that the workings of the program are equally as obvious. The bottom menu bar provides the ability to search Symptoms, Studies, Diagnoses, and Treatments.
To start, one can use the menu bar to navigate to Symptoms, select a few symptoms from the list, press ‘Findings’ to review the choices, and the proceed to ‘Differential’ to get the goods. The Symptoms section is the only one in which multiple entries can be selected.
Radiation Passport aims to fulfill an important need: to quantify the cancer risk for the various diagnostic imaging studies and to add up the cumulative exposure and cancer risk for one patient. The app makers explicitly invite lay persons to track their own cumulative dose (thus the monicker “passport”) but the design and vocabulary appear to be targeted more toward physicians.
While the diagnostic benefits of modern imaging techniques are easily appreciated, the risk of exposure to ionizing radiation is less well understood. This question has become more acute as recently published studies attempting to quantify cancer risk from diagnostic radiation were widely picked up by media outlets. I can attest that, in recent months, many of my patients have brought up this coverage when I ordered scans. At the same time, I have also decreased orders for CT scans and even x-rays in my pediatric patients.
Lately, I’ve often been asked the question, “What type of smartphone should I get?” by my medical peers. I’ve been asked this by physicians, residents, medical students, and others. Many of my friends are entering residency and plan on upgrading to a smart phone, while others already entrenched in residency have phone contracts finishing up.
The answer to this question is not easy. Rather, as Facebook nomenclature would demand, “it’s complicated”. From the title you can see I’ve excluded the Palm platform and Windows mobile phones. Palm is currently restructuring since being bought by HP, and Microsoft is in the process of rebooting their mobile division – so both currently do not possess vibrant ecosystems for app development – and won’t be included in this discussion.
How you use your mobile phone is key in choosing the right smart phone, and obviously, not all medical professionals use their phone in the same way. I’ll break down a few different scenarios, and hopefully this analysis will help you make a more informed decision about the right mobile platform for you. (read more)
Here we review Clinical Pharmacology Mobile (CPM) from Gold Standard/Elsevier, a program that promises to deliver quality drug and interaction information in the palm of your hand. As a web-based program, CPM supports most advanced devices that use standard browsers (iPhone/iPad/iTouch, Blackberry, etc.) and runs on the Safari/Android/ Symbian/ Windows Mobile/RIM operating systems.
Gold Standard/Elsevier represents a trusted name well-versed in the development of “medical management solutions.” Their suite of products also includes: Alchemy, Clinical Measures, Clinical Pharmacology, FormChecker, MedAlternatives, MedChecker, ProspectoRX, and ToxED. However, CPM appears to be their first foray into mobile applications. (read more)
We’re giving away 5 promo codes for one of the most popular PDF readers in the App Store via the comments section of this post. We’ve reviewed it on this site before and now the app is boasting some significant upgrades.
There were fireworks at the recent Google developer conference (“Google I/O”). Some of this was well deserved excitement around features found in the newest version of the Android mobile operating system (version 2.2, “Froyo”). Much of the fireworks, however, were due to loud, public taunting of the iPhone and Steve Jobs by senior Google executives.
Since everybody loves a contest, these statements by Google speakers were widely covered in the tech press and predictably stirred up heated comment threads throughout the blogosphere.
In truth, the schoolyard level of the rhetoric (see Kara Swisher) probably does not serve Google’s interests in the long run. This is because Google’s business relationships are symbiotic: Google needs its partners’ trust to continue delivering to Google, via their devices and services, massive amounts of user data for its primary business, which is selling advertising.